So there we were, in a workshop that explores tea as a spiritual path. Really nifty house, all simple and stuff with a manicured lawn and the biggest magnolia tree I’ve ever seen. We sat on tatami mats facing each other around the perimeter of the room. My ankles cried and I sat Indian style.
Wood blocks were clapped, incense was lit and then a little metal bowl was tapped. Everyone seemed to be thinking really hard about something. Their eyes were closed. I noticed this as I had no clue what I was doing, and being the curious sort, I just looked around. Somewhere along the line, I figured yoga would be a good idea, so I straighted my back and breathed around my spine. Mental chant, “Please don’t fart, please don’t fart.”
The meditation ended and the discussion about Bokuseki (ink traces) began. It was an odd group. I couldn’t figure out who was a student or teacher, and as guests of my host’s friends, trying to figure it out was unlikely.
The room seemed divided like a lunch table in elementary school… Instead of separating the boys and girls, it was the people without beards on one side.
We pontificated “Everyday is a good day” (translation: It’s all good) and “Have a cup of tea” (translation: Chill out, dude)
Then it was time for calligraphy. We looked at samples and then were given a piece of paper and brush to play with. Then we had to describe our experiment. Next: write a wish down on a piece of paper and tie it to the bamboo tree outside.
My only wish at the time was, I hope the host doesn’t mind that I spilled ink on the tatami mat.
Dinner afterwards was tasty and meat free.
The above image is a collage of Christopher and Dan’s handiwork.
All of my stuff was destroyed by the sensei.